Wednesday passed with …🌏

Wednesday passed with rain. Thursday wasn’t much better, but that’s okay because rain is a miracle!

Having bitched and whined about having an unexpected lodger at our housesit in Le Peyrail, Sarah received a very disturbing WhatsApp message from Eileen today. We are housesitting for Keith and Eileen (K&E) for the whole of July in Javea. We are really looking forward to being there as they are lovely people and have a lovely home. Rosie their “Fur Child” is adorable. While we were in Javea a few weeks ago they hosted friends and cousins from Australia so it isn’t uncommon for them to have people staying. But for us it all came crashing down when the text arrived.

To the word the message went like this.

“All is well here. Just thought I had better let you know that my cousins son, wife and 3 kids have asked if they can come over for a couple of weeks while you are here. I didn’t like to say no so hope it’s okay with you. They have promised to use the kitchen at times that fit in with your schedule. The kids are 4, 2 and 1. they are a bit wild but hopefully they will tire themselves out in the pool. Anyway enjoy France and stay in touch.”

Sarah said OMG. I said whats the matter? And so she read it to me. I then repeated things that went against the love I have for K&E. My heart started to tremble and I picked up the coffee table and threw it against the wall. I went outside and screamed “Thanks a bloody lot God!” Of course this was all in my mind. Seconds later Sarah received a follow up text to say “Only Joking!” It was just in time as Sarah was giving me life to life resuscitation and blood was starting to seep from my eyes.

I just love it! I love the sense of humour, the fact Eileen got us. It was perfectly delivered and I am humbled. God … did she get us … get me. I just love it. And of course it is all forgotten and there will be no retribution. (Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha……πŸ‘ΉπŸ€‘πŸ‘Ή!!!!).

Shattered and still trembling I wander down to the tack room to feed Oliver and the doves … then the paddock to feed the horses. During a previous storm a tree fell to the ground just missing the stable by inches. There are branches and twigs everywhere. Someone, probably Gervais, has sawn the tree trunk into neat sections. I decide to build a wall of logs so that they are off the muddy ground and have a chance to dry. In this weather its not easy, but over time they will dry out. Some of the logs have already sprouted new growth and I feel guilty not leaving them for nature to take its course. Beneath the logs I move they have muddy bellies and a new world of juicy worms wriggle and slither.

Wantan leaves for Hong Kong on a business trip for the week so Sarah drops her off at the railway station.

We have been here at Le Peyrail for 10 nights and this is the first by ourselves.

After feeding the dogs, later the cats, I settle for 10 minutes to work on my iPad. I hear a rustle and think it’s one of the cats and ignore it. A few moments later Sarah comes into the lounge from the kitchen and navigates to the dining table. She looks at me and asks what the noise is? Probably one of the cats jumped on a dining chair. I get up to have a look and there is a noise from the HP printer box. Des has made himself a little bed in it!

Saturday

The phone rings. Caller hangs up. Normal.

We visit St Foy market once again just to prove that it isn’t really that good and end up at the supermarket. We decide to go to Lidl as it is on the way. Lidl have a minimalistic strategy to cashiers. It seems they open one till and wait until there are 10 people in the queue before they open another till.

There is water on the floor in the kitchen. Everytime we mop it up it appears again. An investigation in the cupboards under the sink doesn’t reveal anything. Water also appears in the bathroom. Again there are no obvious leaks. As a result there is permanently a towel down on the bathroom floor. In the kitchen it comes and goes. With all the rain I suspect that it may be caused by poor drainage.

The weather isn’t improving much, but I have to feed Oliver and the horses. There is something in the air and the horses seem a little unsettled. As they finish their feed a wind breezes through the meadow. I look up and the sky is black and I can feel the occasional drop of rain. The horses brace and I collect the buckets and return up the garden through the daisies to the tack room. And then it happens. The sky opens up and the rain is torrential. The thunder loud and the lightning hypnotic. I decide to wait it out as the rain fall is so fierce. I stand at the open tack room feeling the light spray of the rain after it has crashed to the ground. Then lightning. Then thunder. It makes me take a step back. I stand looking at the rain. Hypnotised. A curtain of water descends. My mind starts to wander and I think of the shed next door that I entered a few days ago. It was the one place Jo didn’t explain or take us on that first day tour. But as I was passing on my way to the tack room I glanced through an open window and made a mental note to investigate. I did and another Aladins cave was revealed. Most of the good gardening equipment games, tools, dumbells, a barbell, military pictures, drills and on it went. This was clearly Brian’s old place. Jo’s ex-husband. It is as if he just woke up one day and walked out. Perhaps he did just that. As I glance at the rain I fantasise. He is meant to be in Malta. What if he isn’t. What if he never left?! The sky gets darker. The rain louder and my fantasy deeper! I snap out of it otherwise I won’t sleep tonight, but can’t help myself looking for mounds of earth as I dash out of the tack room through the rain and up the garden to the main house. If I waited for the rain to stop I may be there for hours.

At the top of the stairs I catch my breath and find the wellington boot jack to relieve myself of the the muddy boots. The door to the lounge is shut and as I open it I realise that the house is in darkness and Sarah is standing there looking at me. There is no power. Sarah had been cleaning the inside of the car when it started to rain and so she dashed to the back yard to bring the washing in from the clothes horse.

As she entered the house the violent wind scorched through the house finding every nook and cranny. It took hold of the far door separating the kitchen from the 2 bedrooms and it slammed to a shut. The whole pain of glass shot out shattering to the floor. Sarah had only just finished clearing it up and removing the few jagged pieces left in the frame. Bugger!

The power had tripped the main switch box and fortunately it was a simply task of just switching it back on. All power and light returned.

Sunday

The week finishes with Des smashing a wine glass. I pick him up from the kitchen chair and his legs dangle knocking a glass over and to floor. Clearly all his fault. The torrential rain the previous night has brought out the toads. Two of them are sprawled flat in the road. Victims of hit and run. They are the size of 2 fists. Brutal looking things. In Queensland, Australia, cane toads can be the size of a rugby ball. TheyΒ have no natural enemies. Their toxin can kill most native animals that normally eat frogs. They therefore pose a risk to both native fauna and pets such as cats and dogs.

Until next time 🌏

With the guests …🌏

With the guests gone we have the option to sleep in the main Chambre. The advantage is the ensuite and the King size bed. The downside is the fact it is a water bed. It doesn’t appeal to me. A strange concept. But I did test it. I ventured on to the bed, not without first testing the pressure with my hand. I’m not heavy, but I just wanted to be sure it didn’t burst. As I lay there floating I couldn’t imagine how I would ever get to sleep. I seemed to be swaying gently and after a little while started to feel sea sick so swam to the edge and climbed out. Its a shame because the bed in our current room is like a french renaissance bed that is closed in at the bottom. It means I can’t dangle my feet over the edge and stretch my legs. The french pillows are square so I sort of lay my head about a foot from the headboard and scrunch up my legs. The other issue is the fact we have to pass through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. This means navigating the furry roundabout. First world problems of course. Doesn’t mean you have to accept them though does it? So in the end the Chambre is now a huge wardrobe/dressing room, meaning our bedroom is uncluttered from suitcases and other belongings draped everywhere.

Today I learned that Puppy can sing. The landline rings quite a few times. Doesn’t always seem to be the same tune so perhaps it is programmed for certain callers. One tune rings and Puppy howls like a wolf. Quite cute.

I also earned that Oliver doesn’t like broccoli. His bowl … well his tin tub … is licked clean leaving just the green stuff. Later in the week I discover he is fussier than I thought. He doesn’t eat oranges or asparagus either. So particular is he that he even licks the things he doesn’t like to get all the other stuff off.

Thomas the smaller horse escapes from the paddock and is roaming around amongst the daisies in the garden chomping away. I ponder on accidentally on purpose letting them all out to eat the grass and then claiming it was all my own work using the sit-on-mower, but decide against it for moral reasons. By the time I go down to feed Oliver all 3 of the horses have escaped and are waiting at the top gate near the tack room for me. I then reconsider my previous plan as they are already out. No. Lets stay honest … ha, ha, ha!Β The reason they managed this escapade into the garden is that the paddock gate is a bit flimsy despite that fact that it does have a bolt that fixes to the ground … just… and a wire loop that holds the 2 gates together. If they knew they could just trample it down. As it is Gervais said that they have occasionally just “nosed” off the loop and managed to get out if the bolt hasn’t been secured. The issue is that they can be a bit aggressive which is something I look out for when I take them their feed. Nougat is a bit of a boy. So I know once they see me with the feeding buckets all bets are off. If I’m not careful they would charge and easily knock me over. Trample me to death. Its hard, but someones got to do it. So I creep around the back of the pool. The paddock gate is in sight. They hear me with the buckets and start to trot. So I start to run. Its a bit of a game, but I run fast in my wellies and the boys pick up speed. I get there just in time and put the buckets down before they take my arms off.

Oh what fun it is!

Tuesday

We have had a few nights of very heavy rain and loud thunder. It makes the going tough down by the stables as the ground sucks at your feet so I try and feed the horses and Oliver later in the day in the hope that the ground has had a bit of a chance to dry out. It hasn’t.

Last night was no exception and the rain fell heavily. However, the upside is that the following morning the country air is fresh with vitality and calm … after the storm. You can feel it penetrating the atmosphere and tantalising your mind. I look out of the lounge window towards the back of Le Peyrail as the mist hangs lightly in the meadow and the first signs of the sun cast their light on the awakening sky.

I decide to to wander out into the sharp, fresh air and head south along Le Peyrail. I actually don’t go very far. I walk beyond the tiny hamlet up to a rise in the road to the vineyards. Away from the buildings the sun is beginning its journey. It is a funny concept that we call it sunrise, when in fact it is the earth rotating down … perhaps to honour the sun?

The vines are still, the grass remains moist from the kiss of the dew as the sun hasn’t quite risen enough to warm the green skin. There is a silence. A country silence. It is not always perfectly silent, but when it is you can hear that silence. It is the hum of nothing accept the earth breathing beneath your feet. In the distance I hear a cock crow. And then at 7:00 am the church bells ring out. Moments later I hear another 7 chimes. Is it another church a little late? Were the first chimes too early? They seemed to come from the same place, the same church. I realise that this happens every day and so I research the mystery. It still is a mystery. Even Google can’t explain. French church bells have no standard practice beyond the local village. Some say the bells ring for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The most reasonable explanation I came across was that the first set of chimes are for the time and the second that its time to get up.

Once the last chime has travelled beyond the capability of my ears the birds sing louder and the bees begin their hum. The neighbour, who is not in residence has a beautiful patch of poppies in the garden. They stand tall, bright red, glistening through the dew as the sun begins to embrace them. Everything is a miracle and we are all Miracle Millionaires!

Another miracle happened today. One of Sarahs clients needed to get a computer dongle to her to enable access to their system. The dongle is about the size of a thumb and is being dispatched from Sydney, Australia to the middle of nowhere in France. Mmm. We are sat out front having a midday snack at the small round table on the edge of the lane. Almost the curb. If a car goes by we have to swing our legs in. An unmarked white van appears. The driver is clearly wearing a bright polo shirt. he stops, and as he gets out to remove something from the back of the van we can clearly see “DHL”. We shouldn’t be amazed in this day and age, but we both are. The package has arrived from the other side of the world on the day they said it would. Amazing … a miracle!

Until next time 🌏